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Ulcerative Colitis – Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

The method of treatment for ulcerative colitis is entirely dependent on the severity and the extent of the spread of the disease. The prime goal of the treatment is to reduce the severity of the symptoms and healing of the affected lining. But the aim of treatment is to maintain the condition without getting worse further.

Drugs used to Treat Ulcerative Colitis
Aminosalicylates –

  • Mesalazine
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Balsalazide
  • Olsalazine

Since years (more than 50 years), Sulfasalazine has been used as a major agent in treating mild to moderate UC cases.

Corticosteroids –

  • Budesonide
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Cortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Cortifoam
  • Prednisone
  • Beclometasone
  • Prednisolone

Immunosuppressive drugs –

  • Azathioprine
  • Mercaptopurine
  • Methotrexate
  • Tacrolimus

Biological treatment –

  • Infliximab
  • Visilizumab
  • Adalimumab
  • Vedolizumab

Surgery to treat Ulcerative Colitis
Sometimes, surgery is recommended to treat the Ulcerative Collitis. The large intestine is removed surgically when the patient do not respond to drugs and other remedies. Surgery is performed in severe cases like strongly suspected carcinoma, frank perforation or exsanguinating hemorrhage. Patients with sever collitis or toxic megacolon are mostly prescribed with to undergo a surgery. Ulcerative collitis affects not only the intestinal area but also other parts pf the body. Rarely, surgical removal of the colon is also done.

Alternative Treatments for Ulcerative Collitis
Only about 21% of people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease undergo alternative treatments. They might include, diet and exercise programs. But not much research has been carried out about these. It includes –

Smoking –
People who are non-smokers have been found more prone to Ulcerative Collitis. But this never indicates the use of cigarettes to treat the condition nor we are asking to start smoking to prevent the occurrence. This also requires further study.

Dietary modification –
The indigestible plant extracts are called the dietary fibres. These are very necessary in the maintenance of the bowel function. Commonly, Oatmeal and fibre from brassica are prescribed for consumption.

Fats and oils –
The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which is derived from fish oil can inhibit the leukotriene activity. This leukotriene is solely responsible in causing inflammation. EPA dosages between 180-1500 mg/day are recommended for cardiac conditions, but the usage in ulcer treatment is yet to be known.
Our colon uses the butyrate present in the contents of the intestine. This butyrate is used as the energy source. When the levels of the butyrate is abnormal, then it may tend to develop the conditions for Ulcerative collitis. The amount of butyrate gets lowered towards the rectum. Such conditions require butyrate (short chain fatty acid) enema to be cured. But even this method is still not accepted scientifically.

Herbs –
Boswellia is famous for its use in the Indian traditional science of medicine, Ayurveda. It is as effective as sulfasalazine to treat the UC condition.

Bacterial recolonization –
This may involve Probiotocs and fecal bacteriotherapy. It also requires further analysis.

Intestinal parasites –
Since the occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease is less common in underdeveloped and developing countries, it is thought that the reason may be the presence of some intestinal parasite which are common in underdeveloped countries. So a few tend to use some intestinal parasites as a treatment to bowel ailments. Some also state that the absence of a certain group of worms can cause bowel inflammation like the helminths.

Diagnosis of Ulcerative Collitis
The first steps include the physical examination and the medical history to diagnose the UC conditions. Blood tests may be done. These tests will reveal anemic conditions led by bleeding in the colon or the rectum. And if WBC count is found more, then it would indicate inflammation. If WBC count is abnormally high in the stool sample, then the person is most likely to suffer from Ulcerative Colitis. A sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy may be done as confirmatory tests for the diagnosis of the Ulcerative Collitis. Sometimes, X-ray tests (such as a barium enema) or CT scans may be used for the diagnosis of any other severe complication present.

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